Photo by: Amanda Simkin

Best BBQ Dishes That Impress

Photo by: Amanda Simkin

My favorite part about summer? Going to BBQ’s! And even better? When someone else hosts the barbeque and I can focus on creating one amazing dish to contribute to the fete. But here’s my secret…I only make easy dishes that look like I was slaving away in the kitchen all day. Here are the best BBQ dishes that impress:

Watermelon Pops

Slice watermelon at least two inch thick. Use any type of cookie cutter you desire to make watermelon cut outs. Place each piece of fruit on a stick, and pop into the freezer to harden a bit.

Tomato Mozzarella Skewers

Looking for a savory kabob to go with the sweet watermelon one? Simple! Alternate cherry tomatoes, boccanocini, and fresh basil on a skewer. Drizzle with a little olive oil (you can also add balsamic vinaigrette, too) and salt and pepper.

Homemade Salsa

Get ready for the best five minute salsa imaginable. Roughly chop 3 cloves of garlic and one jalapeno pepper (you can take out seeds if you want the salsa to be more mild). Blend them together using a food processor, blender, or my favorite—the Magic Bullet. Next, add one can of tomatoes, one handful of cilantro, salt and pepper, and the juice of one lime. Puree again. Grab some chips and enjoy!

Cucumber Salad

Thinly slice three cucumbers and arrange them in a colander. Heavily season them and try to push the water out of the cucumbers, letting them marinate for at least one hour. While the cucumbers are brining, mix together the vinaigrette:

¼ cup vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 tsp dill

½ tsp pepper

½ cup diced red onion

Coat the cucumbers in the vinaigrette and chill before serving.

Pistachio Cake

Mix together one package of yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, 4 packages of Pistachio flavored pudding, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees in a well greased Bundt pan. Decorate with powdered sugar.


You can make this either with or without the wine—but I feel like with a nice bottle of pinot grigio makes it even better!

1 Bottle of white wine

2 frozen juice canisters (any flavor you desire—I like a pineapple orange banana juice)

2 cups tonic water

1 cup orange juice

½ cup grenadine


Chopped fruit for garnish (apples, oranges, peaches, etc)

Happy BBQ’ing this 4th of July!

Amanda Simkin writes the blog Queen of the Land of Twigs ’N Berries. A lifelong Chicagoan, Amanda created her website to share how she raises her two Midwestern gentlemen and their Second City finds. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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